Two federal watchdog agencies are taking an active look at the controversial General Services Administration lease for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Bloomberg BNA has learned. Both the Government Accountability Office and GSA’s Office of Inspector General have opened probes into the lease, officials with both groups confirmed.
The GAO since June has been looking into GSA’s “outleasing” program — the path through which the Trump Organization leased the hotel — in response to a request from two Democratic congressmen who have persistently raised questions about the Trump hotel lease, a GAO spokeswoman confirmed.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint Jan. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that, in his capacity as president, Trump’s continued ownership of the hotel was in violation of the foreign emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prevents public officials from accepting presents and other benefits from foreign governments that may be perceived to yield undue influence. Such presents could come in the form of hotel stays by foreign government officials, the suit alleged.